Senior centre manager Geoff Gooch with a Christmas tree now in need of a new star.
Senior centre manager Geoff Gooch with a Christmas tree now in need of a new star.

Christmas crims on shopping spree

By HELEN JACK helen.jack@northernstar.com.au

JUST call them the grinches who stole Christmas. A man and a woman were caught on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) strolling off with Chrissie decorations which had only moments earlier decorated Lismore Shopping Square.

Square senior centre manager Geoff Gooch said he had thought he had seen everything during his career but this pair had astounded him.

"They were so brazen," he said. "They even went into Woollies and asked for cardboard boxes to carry the stuff."

Mr Gooch said the pair had pinched about $500 worth of decorations.

"We have had some pilfering from Christmas trees before but nothing on this scale," he said.

It appears the purloining pair didn't realise the Square has extensive CCTV coverage.

Mr Gooch said there was 12 minutes of footage of the duo taking decorations off the trees.

Mr Gooch said he believed the pair had planned their raid. "The thefts happened at 8.12pm on Sunday evening when only the supermarkets were open," he said.

"All the other retail shops were shut so there were not many people about. "So they have walked around and helped themselves and it's all on CCTV footage. "They stole mainly bows, baubles and stars."

Mr Gooch said the thieves had put in considerable effort as the stars were attached with silicone to the top of the Christmas trees.

"All our Christmas decorations have undergone a refurbishment and cost the Square and businesses $20,000," he said.

"They are not just stealing from the Square management, they are also stealing from all the small business owners who have contributed money for these decorations.

"They think we have plenty. "I know what they are going to do they are going to use them to make their own Christmas tree look nice at home."

Mr Gooch said the Square displays Christmas decorations every year.

"We have 27 garlands which adorn the archways in the Square and 18 trees," he said. "Some trees cost $600 with the larger ones costing $1000.

"We have a good CCTV shot of the woman taking bows off one of the trees."

Police are investigating.



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